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Continental fossil vertebrates from the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Cenomanian) Alcântara Formation, Brazil, and their relationship with contemporaneous faunas from North Africa

Candeiro, CRA and Fanti, F and Therrien, F and Lamanna, MC (2011) Continental fossil vertebrates from the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Cenomanian) Alcântara Formation, Brazil, and their relationship with contemporaneous faunas from North Africa. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 60 (3). 79 - 92. ISSN 1464-343X

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Abstract

The Albian-Cenomanian Alcântara Formation of northeastern Brazil preserves the most diverse continental vertebrate fauna of this age yet known from northern South America. The Alcântara vertebrate assemblage, consisting of elasmobranchs, actinopterygians, sarcopterygians, turtles, crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and non-avian dinosaurs, displays close similarities to contemporaneous faunas from North Africa. The co-occurrence of as many as eight freshwater or estuarine fish taxa (Onchopristis, Bartschichthys, Lepidotes, Stephanodus, Mawsonia, Arganodus, Ceratodus africanus, and possibly Ceratodus humei) and up to seven terrestrial archosaur taxa (Sigilmassasaurus, Rebbachisauridae, Baryonychinae, Spinosaurinae, Carcharodontosauridae, possibly Pholidosauridae, and doubtfully Bahariasaurus) suggests that a land route connecting northeastern Brazil and North Africa existed at least until the Albian. Interestingly, most components of this mid-Cretaceous northern South American/North African assemblage are not shared with coeval southern South American faunas, which are themselves characterized by a number of distinct freshwater and terrestrial vertebrate taxa (e.g., chelid turtles, megaraptoran and unenlagiine theropods). These results suggest that, although mid-Cretaceous faunal interchange was probably possible between northern South America and North Africa, paleogeographic, paleoclimatic, and/or paleoenvironmental barriers may have hindered continental vertebrate dispersal between northern and southern South America during this time. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


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Details

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Candeiro, CRA
Fanti, F
Therrien, F
Lamanna, MC
Date: 1 May 2011
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of African Earth Sciences
Volume: 60
Number: 3
Page Range: 79 - 92
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2011.02.004
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Geology and Planetary Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1464-343X
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2014 16:58
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 14:55
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21364

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